The Patient Safety (Notifiable Patient Safety Incidents) Bill 2019

The purpose of the Patient Safety (Notifiable Patient Safety Incidents) Bill 2019 is to introduce new law in relation to a number of important patient safety matters.

This Bill, for the first time –

  • introduces a new requirement for mandatory open disclosure of specific serious patient safety incidents (referred to as notifiable patient safety incidents in this legislation);
  • lists a number of notifiable incidents within the Bill for which mandatory open disclosure must occur and sets up a new process by which the Minister for Health will, through Regulations, regularly update the list of serious patient safety incidents subject to mandatory open disclosure, in line with advancements in clinical practice and international developments;
  • requires health services providers to notify these serious notifiable patient safety incidents to either the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the Chief Inspector of Social Services (CISS) or the Mental Health Summary Guide to the Patient Safety (Notifiable Patient Safety Incidents) Bill 2019 3 Commission (MHC), as appropriate, for the purposes of ensuring that there is national learning and health service-wide improvement; • extends HIQA’s remit to private hospitals; and
  • contains provisions supporting the conduct of clinical audit in the health service.

Under this new Bill, health services providers and health practitioners have an obligation to be open and transparent with patients and their families when a notifiable patient safety incident has occurred in the course of the patient’s care. The Bill sets out a clear process for how open disclosure should occur so that patients and their families can be assured that they will receive comprehensive and timely information when things go wrong. Importantly, mandatory open disclosure and external notification of notifiable incidents applies to both the public and private health services.

The purpose of this new legislation is to put in place new structures to enhance regulation of health services. It also seeks to support a culture of patient safety, quality and learning in the delivery of health services, as well as openness, transparency and compassion.

 

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